The Steelers run game and offense for the most part seemed totally out of sync Sunday in Cleveland, but did enough to produce two touchdowns and add in the special teams TD early in the game it was enough for a 21-18 win over the Browns.
Cleveland did some things on defense to take away the black and gold run game, as Le’Veon Bell, who clearly looked like a guy who missed preseason, did little to impress and was held to 32 yards, 15 of which came on his last run to seal the win.
The Steelers as a team were held to 35 yards on 17 carries, a 2.1 yards per carry average, and on most days that’s going to put the team in a tough position to pull out a win.
What was almost more alarming was Bell’s post game attitude about the sub-par outing, one that basically said ‘don’t worry, we’ll get better as we move along.’
“It’s game one, so obviously everything is not going to be clicking how it would be if it was in mid-season form,” Bell said.
“Week one is just the stepping stone. We have to go back to practice on Wednesday and correct some things. We’re going to watch the film tomorrow. Penalties killed us. We had one turnover but, outside of that, it was really just the penalties, that were killing us.”
Penalties were a major factor, as the Steelers had a ridiculous flags thrown against them, stopping what could have been some promising drives throughout the afternoon affair.
“We have to play penalty-free. I think we’ll go back to the tape, correct it and get it cleaned up,” Steelers WR Antonio Brown said.
It’s true that getting the win is the most important thing, but this offense had better find its rhythm and better not leave too many plays on the field moving forward.
Sure against Cleveland you can get away with that, but at times Sunday it was hard to watch as this team tried hard to get something going moving the football.
Let’s hope another week of practice and a full week with Bell will do the trick.